[Editor: This untitled anecdote was published in The Bulletin (Sydney, NSW), 24 December 1903.]
[In a South Queensland township]
In a South Queensland township, just beyond Judas Iscariot and adjacent to the Lamentations of Jeremiah, there was a storekeeper called Simpson who was reckoned to be the mildest man west of sunrise. He became the object of adoration of two ladies of the community and had not sufficient courage to refuse either of them, and feeling ran high.
At last No. 1 became desperate and went to Simpson and bullied him into leaving for Toowoomba by the next train, determined that he should marry her in proper style. When No. 2 heard of the flight her behavior was cyclonic. The happy pair returned soon after and settled down, and for a time there was peace.
Then No. 2, by the aid of a friend in Toowoomba, discovered that there had been no marriage at all. After enjoying a holiday they had come back, having dispensed with the formality, and considered themselves one. Like a sensible woman she said nothing, but waited her chance.
One day, when a parson happened along, and Mrs. Simpson was gossiping to a neighbor over the back fence, she entered the store and, capturing Simpson under the nose of an astonished customer, she bore him off in his shirt sleeves to the parson, and they were hitched up with due ceremony, witnesses and all.
She returned and ejected No. 1, who was still at the back fence talking to the neighbor, and whose first news of the trouble came to her when the lawful wife threw her spare clothes out to her in the yard, and told her that the back gate was the most sudden way off the premises.
The Bulletin (Sydney, NSW) 24 December 1903, p. 36, column 4
[Editor: The original text has been separated into paragraphs.]